Excessive chilly circumstances kill 21 marathon runners in China

Beijing, May 23

Twenty-one ultra-marathon runners were killed in northwest China after high winds and freezing rain struck a 100-kilometre mountain race over the weekend.

Extreme weather hit participants in the race on Saturday in the Yellow River Stone Forest, a tourist site in Gansu province, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Twenty-one persons were killed in the tragedy, officials said on Sunday. A total of 172 participated in the mountain marathon. The rescue work, which lasted almost 24 hours, was completed on Sunday and the remains of all 21 victims were transferred from the site of the incident, the rescue headquarters said.

Another 151 participants were confirmed safe, of whom eight with minor injuries were treated in hospital and were in stable condition.

The public safety incident was caused by a sudden change in local weather.

According to the rescue headquarters, at about 1 pm on Saturday, hail, freezing rain and gales hit the area of the race’s high-altitude stage, between 20 km and 31 km. Participants suffered from physical discomfort due to the sudden drop in air temperature. — PTI

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